Insurance fraud clampdown pays dividends

Fraud alert warning signIf you thought insurance fraud was a victimless crime: think again. Insurance fraud is estimated to cost a staggering £1.3 billion a year and it’s something that the industry takes very seriously. The Association of British Insurers have published a report on the ongoing clampdown and the good news is that life is getting much tougher for the cheats.

Last year insurers uncovered 2,500 attempted frauds every week; adding-up to £25 million. The figures show a 6% increase in detection compared with the previous year meaning that more fraudsters are being caught red-handed. The insurance industry invests £200 million a year tackling fraud and the investment is clearly paying dividends.

Commenting on the findings James Dalton of the ABI said “Insurance cheats do not lack nerve or ingenuity, which is why there will be no let-up in the industry’s commitment to protect honest customers. The chances of getting caught have never been greater, and the consequences, such as a prison sentence and difficulty in getting future insurance and other financial products, have never been more severe and long-lasting”.

Insurance fraud is no laughing matter, but sometimes you can’t help a wry smile spreading across your face when the cheats get caught. Here are our favourite five reports of cheats getting their just desserts:

In the frame A fitness fanatic put in a personal injury claim for severe back and neck pain after he was involved in a car collision. However, eagle-eyed investigators saw through the bogus claim as the ‘injured party’ bragged about his ongoing sporting achievements; including a tweet about a creditable 7th place in a 10km road race and a selfie taken on the top of Mt Snowdon.

Ring of truth Losing your wedding ring could take the shine off your marital bliss and insurers are happy to compensate for the loss provided there is proof. However, when it was discovered that the photo of the ring was date stamped after it was allegedly lost the bride was left blushing.

Facebook friends A minibus accident on the way to a stag party led to fourteen claims for whiplash injury. Alarm bells began to ring for the insurers when it was discovered that none of the stag party had packed any luggage for their weekend away and that several were Facebook friends with the driver of the car involved in the crash.

Return to sender A postie claimed £23,500 when he was forced to retire early due to a workplace accident. He was allegedly left unable to walk unaided, drive or even dress himself. However, he was able to perform at a Malaysian music festival and then blog about it; which cost him 18 months in jail for fraud.

Diving for treasure An unlucky traveller claimed £85,000 for luggage lost in planes, trains and service stations. His fraudulent plans were sunk when it was discovered that every piece of luggage was alleged to have contained high end SCUBA diving equipment. His travels came to an end and he was given a lengthy jail sentence.


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